Balloon has been directed by Sinish Sreedharan, a 2017 release, and is now streaming on Zee5. It stars Jai, Anjali, Yogi Babu, Karthik Yogi and Master Rishi in prominent roles with music composed by Yuvan Sankar Raja. Jeevanantham played by Jai is an aspiring filmmaker searching for his big break. A producer promises to back him on the condition that he writes a script based on horror. Seeking inspiration for a story, Jeeva (Jai) along with his wife Jacquelin (Anjali), his two partners Paanda and Arokiam (Yogi Babu and Karthik Yogi) and his nephew (Master Rishi), travel to Ooty to research an old mansion with a haunted past, hoping to use it in the narrative. But as they unravel details of the derelict building, strange and spooky occurrences intrinsically linked to Jai’s past, takes place in their lives.

We’ve seen a lot of this before

Balloon possesses the necessary ingredients for a potent scare fest but the idea, unfortunately, lacks authenticity. Many of the scenes though executed competently are clearly lifted from Hollywood horror films. As a result, the movie ends up being a hotchpotch of The Conjuring, The Exorcist, The Omen and many more right down to the usage of props, you get the drift. In addition, the peripheral characters that make up the story feel like obvious interpretations of films already seen. Therefore the potential edge of the seat moments and the impending tension is not unexpected.

Humor doesn’t work very well

Balloon has been termed a horror comedy but in reality, the humour doesn’t work very well. Yogi Babu and Karthik Yogi attempt to elicit laughs with their back and forth repartees but the jokes fall flat and are distracting. The film would have benefitted greatly if the comedic elements had been suppressed to create a full-blown ominous narrative.

Cinematography is on point

While the scares are predictable, the picturization by R Saravanan is competent and penetrating. The sylvan surroundings of the hills with the swirling mists are captured naturally as is the haunted house that is the focal point of the film. The imagery of the balloon and its significance in the plot is depicted well.

WATCH OR NOT

Balloon promises a lot and entertains in parts but it suffers from a formulaic story that doesn’t have the surprise element. It’s a one-time watch only.

Director: Sinish Sreedharan
Writer: Sinish Sreedharan
Cast: Jai, Anjali, Yogi Babu, Karthik Yogi, Master Rishi
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Language: Tamil
Streaming on: Zee5